Lt. John F. O'Brien, Jr., a retired Worcester Fire Lieutenant, passed away Thursday, February 17, 2011 in his home surrounded by his cherished family after a long illness.

John is survived by his wife and partner of 43 years, Rita P. (Toscano) O'Brien; his three children: Colleen Rosales and her husband Ben of Sutton, Worcester Fire Lt. John F. O'Brien, III and his wife Brenda of Worcester, James B. O'Brien of Lighthouse Point Florida; a brother, David O'Brien of Oxford; four sisters: Helen Newstead and Eileen Rock both in New Jersey, Kathleen Steinhart and Maureen Modesty both of Worcester; three grandchildren, who he adored: Brigitte LeFrancois, Gabrielle Rosales and Kallie O'Brien; many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

John was born in Worcester, his parents were the late John F. O'Brien, Sr. and Helen (Smith) O'Brien. He graduated from Worcester Boys Trade, joined the U.S. Navy to serve his country during the Vietnam War. In 1967, he was appointed to the Worcester Fire Department and earned his degree in Fire Science from Quinsigamond Community College.

John worked more than 20 years as a Fire Fighter for the City Of Worcester before retiring. He began his career on Engine 5 and retired as a Lieutenant on Ladder 5 on Providence Street.

He was a member of Our Lady of Loreto Church, the International Brotherhood of Fire Fighters Local 1009, the Worcester Fire Relief Association and the Eastside Post 201, American Legion. John and Rita loved to travel and spent many winters in Lighthouse Point Florida. He was a quiet man who cherished his family especially his grandchildren. They were his inspiration and life's joy.

The funeral will be held Saturday, February 19th from the MERCADANTE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 370 Plantation St. with a Mass at 10:00 a.m. in Our Lady of Loreto Church, 37 Massasoit Rd. Burial, with Military Honors, will be in St. John Cemetery. Friends and relatives are invited to visit with the family, Friday, February 18th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Multiple Myeloma Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 10 Brookline Place West, 6th floor, Brookline, MA 02445-7226. The O'Brien Family would like to thank Dr Nikhil Munshi and Nurse Practitioner Tina Flaherty of the Dana Faber for the excellent care and understanding they gave to John.


Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette on February 18, 2011